The Radcliffe South Junction was situated on the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (LYR) route between Cheetham Hill (Manchester) and Bradley Fold Junction. At Bradley Fold Junction the line connected to the Bolton – Castleton Junction line giving a continuous route between Manchester Victoria and Bolton Trinity Street via Radcliffe. Radcliffe South Junction was at the point where the Radcliffe East Fork line diverged from the Cheetham Hill - Bradley Fold line to make a connection with the Clifton Junction – Bury line at Radcliffe North Junction. The section of line between Cheetham Hill and Radcliffe North Junction opened on 1 September 1879 with the Radcliffe South Junction to Bradley Fold Junction section following on 1 December 1879.
To control the South Junction a signal box was provided. It opened in 1879 (it was inspected on 23 October 1879) as Radcliffe Station Junction (the station being located within the fork of the junction). It was located on the down side of the line (the west side) about 6 chains to the south of the junction.
The box was probably a Gloucester Wagon Company product (that company had provided the other boxes on the line) and it was fitted with a 22 lever frame. It controlled the junction and a crossover. Its flank boxes were Radcliffe West Junction on the Bradley Fold line and Radcliffe North Junction (there was a connecting line, the Radcliffe West Fork, between Radcliffe North and Radcliffe West Junctions).
During the early years the box was also referred to as Radcliffe High Level Junction but by 1884 it had been renamed as Radcliffe East Junction and is shown as such on the 25-inch OS map of 1889.
The box was closed in 1898 and replaced by a new box located within the fork of the junction on the station platform. It is not known if the 1879 box closed as Radcliffe East Junction but its replacement was called Radcliffe South Junction.
The new box was inspected on 13 June 1898. It was an all wood LYR Size 5 structure fitted with a 32 lever LYR frame. It controlled a similar layout to its predecessor plus an additional crossover on the main line and a crossover and siding on the Bradley Fold route.
The line between Radcliffe South Junction and Bradley Fold Junction closed to all traffic on 2 November 1964. Having no junction to control Radcliffe South Junction box was closed on 28 November 1965.